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Latitude: 51.8561 / 51°51'22"N
Longitude: -4.3115 / 4°18'41"W
OS Eastings: 240906
OS Northings: 220031
OS Grid: SN409200
Mapcode National: GBR DG.T75S
Mapcode Global: VH3LH.7L0Y
Entry Name: Capel Heol Awst
Listing Date: 19 May 1981
Last Amended: 28 November 2003
Source ID: 9488
Building Class: Religious, Ritual and Funerary
Location: Situated set back in railed forecourt roughly midway along street.
Traditional County: Carmarthenshire
Independent chapel of 1826-7 by William Owen of Haverfordwest. The first chapel on this site was built in 1726, rebuilt larger in 1802 and again in 1826-7, to seat 1000, at a cost of £2,582/6/2d (or £2,590/5/5d) (£2,582.30 or £2,590.27). It was then thought to be the largest chapel in Wales. The plans and specification show William Owen, housebuilder, and William Rowlands, mason, as contractors. As drawn, the facade has no stucco details save for a band between floors, and the interior section shows a very tall wine-glass pulpit. Some later alterations, new ceiling in 1860, stucco to front probably later C19, 2 C20 stained glass windows, one to the Rev Stephen Hughes (1622-88), behind the pulpit, 1922, by Abbott & Co, who also designed another window in 1946. The cause goes back to Stephen Hughes in the late C17, though really founded with William Evans c 1702, and linked to the Presbyterian College which came to Carmarthen in 1704, and whose Principal was until 1840 generally the minister at Heol Awst. The cause moved to Lammas Street (Heol Awst) in 1726, the chapel then built was enlarged shortly after and again in 1802.
Chapel, unpainted roughcast with stucco dressings. Two-storey 2-window lateral front with slate deep-eaved hipped roof. Bracketed eaves. Ground floor has fine pair of timber doorcases with Ionic columns, entablature blocks and open dentilled pediments, to paired 3-panel doors with flush panelled reveals and fanlights with enriched radial tracery. Stucco ground floor from plinth to moulded string course at pediment level, with channelled strips flanking doors. Bay to left of left door is obscured by added schoolroom, bay to right has channelled strips each side continued up to first floor impost course. Raised stucco panels beneath first floor sills and moulded string course at impost level of the 2 arched first floor windows, broken to centre for centre plaque in eared stucco frame. First floor windows with wide arched heads, small panes and interlacing glazing bars to heads. Moulded stucco arches with keystones, and plain raised sides. Cast iron rainwater goods.
Right side in rubble stone with red brick dressings to openings. Two-storey 3-window range with paired brackets to eaves and cast iron rainwater goods. Arched windows with small panes and Gothic interlacing tracery to heads, and stone sills. Left side similar with lean-to obscuring 2 ground floor windows. Rendered rear wall with 2 tall arched windows with earlier C20 stained glass.
Outstanding galleried interior, mainly of 1827, with very early Gothic detail for a Nonconformist chapel. Three-sided gallery with painted grained front and round arched panels with simple Gothic cusping (similar to those at Gwynfe chapel, Carms. also 1827). Clock by D Levy of Carmarthen. Sharp curves to gallery angles and raked gallery seating. Gallery supported on 14 marbled Ionic columns.
Box pews with 2 large centre ranks and raked side blocks facing inward under galleries. Inward-facing pews each side of pulpit. Square panels to pew backs and doors. Early C19 pulpit on back wall also panelled, with sweeping curved stairs to sides with ramped handrail terminating in swirls, and stick balusters. Pulpit of wine-glass type on concave ribbed pedestal supported on single timber Ionic column, possibly originally taller. Pulpit back has taller centre panel with lower flanks, and Gothic detail to match gallery panels. Two large stained glass windows behind pulpit of 1922 and one to W side of c1946, all by Abbott & Co. Ceiling presumably of 1860 has good centre rose with acanthus spiral and 4 lacy radiating pendants. Coved plain cornice. Lobby with 6-panel internal doors with 3-light overlights with large octagonal lamp-housings. Pair of ogee-headed lobby windows of 1827 with contemporary stained glass.
Monuments: John Corrie (d 1731), with moulded frame and inscription that he was buried under his own seat in the meeting house. Rev. Samuel Thomas, 1766, with shaped top. Edward Bowen Jones (d1879), Gothic with cusped frame and coloured marble colonnettes, 1885, by Burke & Co, of London.
Large pipe organ in gallery by James J Buis of Bramley Organ Works, Leeds.
Graded II* as one of the outstanding early C19 chapels in Wales, with strong external architectural character, and a good interior.
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